An Adoptee’s Perspective: How I Feel About My Birth Parents

my birth parents

When I was a child, I was asked a question that completely changed my world. A classmate of mine pulled me aside and asked ‘Why do you have brown skin when both of your parents have white skin?’ The notion that I wasn’t my parent’s biological child had never even crossed my mind to until then. That night I approached my parents about my classmate’s observation and they told me for the first time that I was adopted and so I became aware of my birth parents.

The news came as a bit of shock to me, but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. At first, I had the thoughts you might expect a child to have after learning that their parents weren’t blood-related to them. ‘Why did my birth parents give me away?’ ‘Was I a bad child?’ ‘Was there something wrong with me?’ My parents seemed to sense my anxiety and made one thing overwhelmingly clear: my birth mother had loved me. Loved me enough to put my needs above her own and entrusted me to a family who could give me what she couldn’t.

Over the years, that sentiment stayed with me. Though I often wondered about who my birth parents were and what they were like, I always knew that my mother had loved me and still did. It was a comfort to me that I wasn’t a broken child who had been abandoned, but a precious one who had been given a better life.

When I turned eighteen, my parents gave me a gift I’d never expected. A letter my mother had written and given to the adoption agency to give to my parents. They were instructed to give me the letter when I became an adult in a letter they had also received from my mother. In my letter, I found warm words of affection, hope, and infinite love. She explained that she was in a desperate situation with failing health and three children already that demanded her time and attention. As a single mother, she felt that she would not be able to give me the time and care I deserved and had made the difficult decision to allow another family to adopt me. The letter’s contents confirmed to me what my parents had told me and what I had felt all along: that she loved me and had always loved me.

They are exceptional people who gave me a happy, full life.

A few years later, married with a child of my own, I decided to search in earnest for my birth mother. My adoption had been closed so even though I had a letter from her, there was no signature or name for me to use to find her. I requested an original copy of my adoption certificate and saw her name for the first time. Several internet and social media searches later, I finally stumbled across the profile of a woman that looked so much like myself it was eerie. I knew right away that she was my birth mother. I sent her a message and waited anxiously for her reply. The next day I was greeted with kind, warm words full of love.

She explained her circumstances around the time she gave birth to me and told me a little about my birth father. I was disappointed to find that she didn’t know much about him. The circumstances surrounding my conception were mostly negative and she had cut him from her life shortly after confirming her pregnancy. Though she had a name, I have not found any information about him. It is likely he left the country. My feelings towards him are mixed due in part to the fact that I know so little about it. If I am able to find information about him, I am certain those mixed feelings will change.

I love my parents. They are exceptional people who gave me a happy, full life. I also love my birth mother and have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her and my older siblings. Honestly, I feel that I haven’t lost anything. I have two mothers that love me. My birth mother is an exceptional woman who made a sacrifice I don’t know I could make in order to make sure that I had the best life I could. My love and respect for her are immense. I will forever be grateful for the sacrifice she made and the loving relationship we are building now.

6 Ways To Find Your Birth Parents

6 Ways To Find Your Birth Parents

Trying to find your birth parents can seem like a daunting task. Sometimes all you might have is a name or a rough description of the person. Other times, you might have nothing at all. Here are some tips to help you find your birth parents regardless of your circumstances.

  1. Obtain an original copy of your birth certificate. This is particularly important if you are part of a closed adoption. Your original birth certificate will have your birth mother’s name clearly listed. It also contains information including the city and county you were born in, which may also come in handy during your search.
  2. Run a basic internet search. This is more helpful than a social media search initially because official documents including marriage records, criminal records, and death records are most likely to appear. Use all of the information at your disposal to verify the identity of the person you are searching for and be aware that you may find another link to your birth parent first. For example: While searching for your birth mother, you may stumble upon the criminal record of a biological sibling first and go from there.
  3. Now do a social media search. This seems to be the most common way to reconnect with birth parents but it can be extremely tricky to navigate. Websites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter do not require their users to use their legal names nor do they do any sort of identity verification. For example you may be looking for a woman named Alexandra Smith, however, she has since married and goes by a nickname making her difficult to find. Many social media sites also have customizable security settings to protect their users. Your birth parent’s security settings may simply be set too high for you to find them in a traditional search.
  4. Start a social media sharing chain. This is another popular method used to reunite families. Write a social media post, preferably with a photograph, listing all the details you know about your birth parents and circumstances surrounding your adoption, as well as a way to contact you. Then share that post and encourage others to do the same. After enough times and shares, the hope is that someone will notice the post, recognize you or the information, and get in contact with you to help you with your search.
  5. Hire a private investigator. This is probably the most expensive and most effective method. A private investigator has both the time and resources to run an exceptionally thorough investigation to discover who your birth parents are and their current location. Due to their training, and experience, they may also have access to search tools you may not which will further increase the likelihood of success.
  6. Take an online adoption reunion class. Adoption.com has created the only online video class that extensively teaches you how to DIY your own adoption search. The course has 16 videos that answer frequently asked questions and teaches you how to use tools to help you with your search. Click here to learn more about the course.

Trying to find your birth parents can be a challenge but it is possible. Explore your options, find out what works best for you and let others help you along the way. Reunification is possible if you use the right resources and patiently work through the process.

6 Things Birth Mothers Want The Media To Know

6 Things Birth Mothers Want The Media To Know

A young girl abandons her baby at the hospital. She is promiscuous, probably a drug addict, and she couldn’t care less what happens to the baby. Fortunately, the child is rescued by adoptive parents who love the child more than the biological mother ever could. This is the typical way that the media presents birth mothers. But it is far from the truth. I know, because I am one. I never did drugs, I wasn’t sleeping around, and I loved my baby. Here are six quotes from real birth mothers about what we wish the media knew about us.

1. “Not all birth moms are products of failed parenting. Just because your child was adopted does not mean they were taken away or that CPS was involved. Some people choose adoption as a way to provide the best life for their child.”

Domestic adoption and foster adoption are very different. Many birth mothers voluntarily terminate their parental rights, signing them over to a family that they believe are a good fit for their child.

2. “We are just like any girl next door, except we got pregnant. We are from all age groups, races, economic, educational, religious groups. We made a very difficult choice and all have suffered differently because of it. Society likes to lump people into groups so they can handle things more easily and tidily. I don’t believe we fit any mold!”

Each birth mother has her own unique path that led her to choose adoption. There is no one size fits all, and it is not fair for the media to portray all birth mothers the same way.

3. “We aren’t broken, damaged, or come from a background that needs to be talked about in whispers. We are mothers and women who decided in our situation that adoption was best for our child.”

Choosing adoption does not make a woman any less of a mother. It takes a strong woman to make such a difficult choice for the sake of her child.

4. “That we are someone! That we are selfless, heroic women who are helping other women. We are not lazy, we are not taking the easy way out. We are living, breathing, feeling human beings, and we are not made of stone”

Being a birth mother is hard. It is painful, because we love our babies. It’s hard to separate from them.

5. “That I didn’t give my daughter away. I didn’t ‘sell” my daughter. I found her a family who would love her forever.”

It is a common misconception that women who place children for adoption make money from it. This is false. Some birth mothers receive help with basic expenses during their pregnancy, but this is not typical.

6. “People need to know how much unconditional love goes into the decision to place your child/children for adoption. When you place you are not “giving up” on the child, you are creating a new family for a couple that can’t have children. You are giving your child a life that you can’t provide for them otherwise.”

Placing isn’t an easy choice, but it is a loving one. We give love, we give life, but we do not give up.

Being portrayed as an irresponsible, selfish person is not fair to a woman who places her child for adoption. Media, take note–we are not who you say we are.